The Islanders Celebrate Military Night with a Special Ceremonial Puck Drop

The New York York Islanders recently generated excitement around their Military Night festivities by calling on staff Sgt. Matthew Zimmerman of the Air National Guard to lower down from the rafters to drop the ceremonial puck at center ice.

The unusual spectacle drew a loud applause from all fans in attendance and served as a creative way to showcase and celebrate the skills of the Armed Forces.

Check out a visual of the ceremonial puck drop stunt below:

The Kings Salute the U.S. Army as a Partner

Are you looking for new ways to demonstrate appreciation for military partners on game day? Are you looking for new ways to incorporate sponsors into your pre-game entertainment?

The Sacramento Kings teamed up with the U.S. Army to host a memorable "Protect and Serve" night at ARCO Arena during the 2009-2010 season. The special night celebrates the Kings-U.S. Army partnership, a pact that dates back four years, and serves as a great way to demonstrate appreciation for soldiers serving overseas and the police force protecting consumers in their local neighborhoods.

The Kings integrate the U.S. Army on "Protect and Serve" via several in-game exclusive moments, videos, and player testimonials. Check them out below:

Game Introduction Video

Player Salute

National Anthem Introduction 

In addition to "Protect and Serve" night, the U.S. Army activates its partnership with the Kings via:

High School Rallies - The U.S. Army hosts hour long high school rallies where they feature a push up contest, a presentation for boys and girls varsity basketball coaches, appearances by the Kings mascot Slamson, the Kings dancers, the Kings breakdancers, an Emcee, and a variety of prizes and fun contests for kids to enjoy. Coaches that are honored at the rallies are invited to a future Kings game with the other winners of the "Kings Coaches Club".

Kings for the Community Program - As the presenting sponsor of the "Kings for the Community" program, the U.S. Army offers members of the local community a chance to attend a Kings game on behalf of both the U.S. Army and a Kings player. The U.S. Army treats its guests with a t-shirt, goodie bag, ticket to the game, and a live mention during the game. The U.S. Army drives awareness for the initiative with mentions in the game day program and during game broadcasts.

A special thanks to Chris Morales and the Sacramento Kings organization for their insights and contributions to this column.